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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.
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My landlord came to my apartment and asked $315 rent

Customer Question

My landlord came to my apartment and asked for a $315 rent increase. I told them I would think about it. I put a note in my next months rent, telling them that they could call me to discuss the rent increase, because I realized I was still getting a good deal. One month later they came back and said they would increase the rent. I told them I was unemployed. They said that I had to go because of that. I told them I could afford the rent increase and have paid rent on time for 41/2 years. They asked to come over and wanted to know why I had lost my last job? I explained it to them, but told them I can get a job easily and that I had savings. They orally agreed to the rent increase (sent me a text to confirm) and asked that the security deposit be increased from $900 to $1,200 and they wanted two additional months rent as another deposit. I agreed. 3 weeks later, on the 12th of this month, they showed up and gave me an order to vacate the property for their use. Move out date being 9.1.15. I told them that I can't get an apartment while being unemployed. I asked for the toilet to be unclogged in this one bedroom one bath, fix the broken garbage disposal and provide me with heat. They did the first two (after 2 weeks) but didn't fix the heat. I have a job and do not expect commissions for another 2-3 months. They have an illegal granny flat on the site that I lived in first (it's basically uninhabitable as it is about 140 sq. ft.) They also have an illegal garage conversion in the front. It is zoned for 1-4 units. Also, the guy in the front unit commits Social Security fraud. Has been doing it since since 1980 and has two SS#'s )i know because I did his taxes and he told me). He has taken over $300K from the SS department. I can turn him in and they will not be able to collect rent from him and will ultimately have to clean out his very large unit since he won't be able to get bailed out. As a real estate appraiser, it's my understanding that I can go after them for paying rent on a non-permitted unit? Plus I can turn them in for that, the garage conversion, and not fixing my heat. I need to live here until the end f December to be able to get an apartment. I want to threaten them with these items to get them to extend the move-out date. Or sue now for putting me into an undue hardship? As well as reneging on our agreement (which I have in a text from them). Can you help me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you if I can.
If I may ask, in what state are you renting? And are you under a month to month lease, or under a written lease? What was the reason for the notice for you to vacate, and was that notice in writing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am in San diego California. I have s month to month lease and I reveived a 60 day notice to vacate, actually 9/1/15. Notice is now because the landlord or family member Is going to occupy. My belief is they are putting my undercundo hardship. They asked for triple the new rent in additional deposit, I agrerd, then they came and asked about why I lost my job. I can't rent a new apt while on unemployment. Also, I would like to threate to turn them in for the illegal granny flat that I lived in for one year, the illegal garage conversion, their unwillingness to fix the heat and making me go two weeks without the one toilet that was unuseable. I litterly want to play as dirty as possible. The had verbally agreed to extend the lease with all of those increases. Sent me a text to confirm and then when I asked for repairs, they served me with the notice. As an appraiser, it's always been my understanding that I could go after them for rents paid while living in an illegal unit that I didn't know was illegal. Also, there front tenant that pays the most has been committing social security fraud since 1980. That's about $300k he owes the govt. I did his taxes and know this to be true. I'm willing to whistleblow and they will be faced with a unit that the tenant is in jail. I am willing to get as dirty as necessary for an additional 4 months rent. I can't rent while unemployed.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.
Let me split up the issues here a bit. First of all, if you are 'month to month', since you are not under contract, you are not really protected from an eviction, regardless of their cause (or lack of one). They DO NOT need a reason if you are month to month, all they need to do is give you 60 days notice. So claiming that their action is somehow illegal simply won't work because that is not true. So far, provided their notice does not give a reason, they acted legally and properly with you even if that is not as you wanted, hoped, or expected.
As far as an illegal unit, that ONLY refers to your unit, nobody else's. So if you live in an illegal unit, yes, you can report them to the municipality and by all means file suit for damages. If you prove that you reside in an illegal unit you can demand up to 3 times the monthly rents as damages, and may even demand relocation costs as well (but an illegal unit by definition means that you cannot live there, so you will have to move out).
Likewise you can sue under a claim that their eviction is somehow 'retaliatory' if it was done after you requested repairs which they failed to provide. On that basis you can also claim that the premises are 'uninhabitable'...but again, that is a dangerous claim as an uninhabitable unit must be vacated by you until repaired.
As far as their tenant who may have violated the law, that in no way relates to your rental situation. Furthermore, as you did his taxes, you just may be seen as an accessory...
Dimitry, Esq.